White Columns and Shoot The Lobster 2021 Recipient
White Columns

White Columns and Shoot The Lobster are proud to announce the 2021 recipient of the


Photo Credit: George Schiavone

Shoot the Lobster and White Columns are pleased to announce Miami-based actor, writer, and director Teo Castellanos as the recipient of the 2021 White Columns/Shoot the Lobster Award.

The Award, now in its fourth year, is presented to individuals who have selflessly created a context for the voices of other artists, in turn building communities around their work. This year, Shoot the Lobster and White Columns will present the award to a visionary leader and mentor in the Miami arts community. As the 2021 recipient of the Award, Castellanos will receive an unrestricted $5,000 cash grant, and a specially commissioned artwork made by the Miami-based artist Mark Handforth.

Teo Castellanos’ prestigious career in theater, film, and performance, has consistently included a dimension of mentorship and social outreach, having a lasting impact on the development of Miami’s arts community over the last 30 years. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Florida, Castellanos’ work in theater examines the rich cultural heterogeny of South Florida, while his outreach uplifts and creates possibilities and opportunities for marginalized populations including veterans, underserved youth, and incarcerated people.

Castellanos’ award-winning play NE 2nd Avenue uses the jitney (a small Caribbean bus) as a metaphor to explore Miami’s Cuban, Haitian, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Jewish, African American and other cultures that result in the city’s uniquely cross-pollinated character, while also exploring the marginalization of these communities and advocating for social justice. Castellanos founded the theater/dance company D-Projects, and is also the Artistic Director of the theater company Combat Hippies, a group of Puerto Rican Iraq War veterans who promote “post-traumatic growth” through writing and performance. Castellanos was the director of Rites and Passages, and volunteered in a men’s prison where he taught theater and Zen Buddhism. For nine seasons he coached WordSpeak, a young spoken word poetry team he brought to the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. For nine seasons, he coached WordSpeak, a young spoken word poetry team he brought to the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. Castellanos has all the while maintained a career in film and television. He is a 2021 Doris Duke Artist, a 2019 United States Artist Fellow, a recipient of several awards including the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, National Performance Network, the Knight Arts Challenge and the State of Florida Individual Artist Award (2005 and 2013). He is a 2015 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Fellow, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Shoot the Lobster and White Columns are honored to present Teo Castellanos with this Award. Past recipients of the Award were: Lia Gangitano, founder and director of New York’s PARTICIPANT Inc. (2016); Wendy Yao, founder of Ooga Booga, Los Angeles (2017); and artist Tyree Guyton, founder of Detroit’s Heidelberg Project (2018). The White Columns/Shoot the Lobster Award is generously supported by Shoot the Lobster and administered by White Columns. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Gean Moreno, Director, Knight Foundation Art + Research Center at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, for generously sharing his intimate knowledge of Miami’s arts community with our New York based team.

For more about Teo Castellanos visit:

For more about the Teo Castellanos’ workshops and education visit: https://www.teocastellanos.com/workshopseducation-1

For more about White Columns visit:

For more about Shoot The Lobster visit:

White Columns
91 Horatio Street
New York, NY 10014
Tuesday–Saturday, 11 AM–6 PM